Seagull Maritime SWS

Introducing the Seagull Maritime SWS (Solid Wood Series) 

seagull-maritime-sws

Every line of Seagull guitars uses laminated back and sides except 2:  Maritime and Artist Series 

When you buy a Seagull Maritime you are purchasing a guitar made of all solid tonewoods, hence the name tag SWS (Solid Wood Series). 

Also, an important point to note is that every single model in the Maritime SWS Series is made with solid Mahogany for back and sides except for the Rosewood model.  They all feature a pressure tested Spruce Top (best standard for acoustic  steel string guitars) except for the Mahogany which uses solid Mahogany for the entire guitar body.  

And, all of the necks are 1.8" at the nut except for the Rosewood model, which is 1.72" for a slimmer, more traditional feel.

The current Seagull Maritime SWS series come in 7 models, and have a few letters in their names that mean a few different things such as:

SWS = Solid Wood Series
HG = High Gloss
CW = Cutaway
SG = Semi Gloss
GT = Gloss Top
Q1 = Godin Quantum 1 Transducer Preamp Pickup

The name "Maritime" literally means bordering the sea, or near the sea, and falls in line perfectly with the other Seagull guitar concepts as they all have different themes based on what inspired the look, feel and demand for the different guitar models.

Essentially, when Godin Guitars built the Seagull Maritime Series, they wanted to give people an all solid wood guitar series at a more affordable price than their upper echelon Seagull Artist Series, making them accessible to more people.

Their Artist Series range from about $700 to the $1400 range (new), but the Maritime Series Range from about $649 to $849 price range (new) depending on how they are bundled and which model you choose.

The Seagull Maritime SWS SG

seagull-maritime-sws-sgThe first model in this series features a full dreadnought size and shape, with their signature Seagull rounded shoulders which gives this guitar a nice full sound but adds punchiness to the tone so it can cut through and sound great when played with other instruments.

This guitar features all solid wood construction (no laminates here) with the Seagull Select Pressure Tested Solid Spruce top and solid mahogany back and sides.  Seagull pressure tests all of its guitar tops to make sure they have the highest stiffness to weight ratio, which ultimately gives them the most responsive tops possible.
 
The SG means Semi-Gloss, which gives it a beautiful, very thin and resilient sheen with a slightly less bright and crisp sound as the HG.  The reason these are kept as thin as possible is to maximize the sound quality and tonal projection without sacrificing the protection the gloss provides. 
 
This is critical also, especially with solid wood guitars versus laminated guitars because they age well, giving a richer, more open tone as the tonewoods age.  If the gloss is too thick, it dulls the responsive vibration capabilities of the tonewoods.
 
Finish: Custom-Polished Semi-Gloss finish
Top: Pressure Tested Spruce 
Back & Sides: Solid Mahogany for classic mid-range punchy acoustic guitar sound
Guitar Neck: Mahogany with Seagull's Integrated Set Neck - precision matched neck and body for perfect set angle
Nut & Saddle: Compensated and made from industry standard Tusq®
Bridge and Fingerboard: Solid beautiful Indian Rosewood
Double Action Truss Rod: Double adjusting to curve the set of the fret board either way with precision 
 
 

seagull-maritime-sws-hgThe Seagull SWS HG is exactly the same instrument in every way as the Seagull SWS SG listed above, except for the HG versus the SG.

All this means is that the finish is High Gloss versus Semi-gloss.  Now to most people, this only means that is shines more.

To a more refined ear, this also means the guitar will have a little bit brighter tone and a more crisp response.

If you play the two side-by-side, you should be able to notice that the HG not only looks more shiny and reflective, but the sound will give a little bit more crisp response.

Finish: Custom-Polished High Gloss finish
Top: Pressure Tested Spruce 
Back & Sides: Solid Mahogany for classic mid-range punchy acoustic guitar sound
Guitar Neck: Mahogany with Seagull's Integrated Set Neck - precision matched neck and body for perfect set angle
Nut & Saddle: Compensated and made from industry standard Tusq®
Bridge and Fingerboard: Solid beautiful Indian Rosewood
Double Action Truss Rod: Double adjusting to curve the set of the fret board either way with precision
 
If you like the Seagull Maritime Series and do not want an acoustic electric, and want the most crisp sound, you could opt for the High Gloss finish of the Seagull Maritime SWS HG and can read more about it here.
Mario Biferali from Seagull / Godin Guitars Describes the Seagull SWS Series
 
 

seagull-maritime-sws-mahogany-hgThe 3rd in this series is the Maritime SWS Mahogany HG (High gloss).  So what's the big deal about Mahogany?  
For many years, acoustic guitarists enjoyed the warmth and richness of Mahogany tonewoods as a kind of classic and standard.  What I personally noticed through my years of playing different tonewoods is that Mahogany tends to have more expression in the mid-range of the guitar, making it punch through with other instruments (you will often hear the term "punchiness" when people describe certain acoustic guitars).
 
Punchiness with crisp string distinction and warmth is how I would describe this guitar. . . which is kind of an oxymoron.  The punchiness of this guitar makes it sound more mellow than other tonewoods such as Cherry and Maple etc. because the SWS Mahogany responds more in the mid range for tonewoods and is more mellow and warm for a guitar top than Spruce which is an industry standard for steel string guitars.  However, the High Gloss finish helps give individual strings more of a crisp response (yes, the lacquer or finish does significantly affect how responsive, bright or crisply distinct the notes are.)
 
So. . .for this guitar, it is about the middle of the road for the tone because of the Mahogany top, without sacrificing the guitar's ability to stand out in a group and without losing some lush warmth.  This will be the "warmest" sounding Seagull Maritime SWS model because of the Mahogany top versus the Spruce.
 
The widest in EQ response you will get from a tone wood, in my experience, is going to be from East Indian or Brazilian Rosewood (and Brazilian has been on the endangered list so your best bet for a newer instrument is East Indian Rosewood described below in the Maritime SWS Rosewood SG, if you want more bass response in an acoustic - Rosewood being my personal preference and favorite for the biggest, widest, most responsive sound).
 
If you play with a group, or want the most authentic, mid-range, fully rounded, crisp response without sacrificing a deep warmth, the Seagull Maritime SWS Mahogany HG is your best pick for sure!  Mahogany will have more mid-range than Maple or Cherry, so you will experience less "brightness" to the tone or less "top end" or treble when compared to these other tonewoods as well.
 
Essentially, this guitar is crisp, mellow, warm, yet not too "bright" making it about as well rounded of a sound you can get from a solid Mahogany guitar in this price range.
 
One owner stated, "The Mahogany really makes the guitar sound like a warm gem, even with a live band playing around it. If you have the extra money please consider the SWS and if you want a warm tone that will AMAZE everyone get the Mahogany SWS!  -5 Stars - seagull-maritime-sws-mahogany-hg - W.D.
 
You can read more about what others have said about the Seagull Maritime SWS Mahogany HG here.
 
 
seagull-maritime-sws-creme-brulee-gtThis is a great solid wood guitar with mahogany back and sides, and will sound most like the first model, the Seagull Maritime SWS SG listed above because it has the same tone woods.  If you like the creme brulee kind of sunburst paint on this guitar, then it is for you.
 
It does come standard with the Godin Q1 preamp / pickup as well, which is a transducer, not a blender (so it does not have a second condenser mic for a blended pickup sound capability). 
 
This model is a bit more challenging to find online as well, as most people do not opt for the soft faded, painted creme brulee type finish offered on the Gloss Top of this guitar.
 
The back and sides are made from solid mahogany as are the others in this series except for the Rosewood model.

It also features a cutaway, which is nice for those who want to play more up the neck for some lead riffs and other kind of guitar styles where access to the 14th through 17th fret are more needed.
 
 
seagull-maritime-sws-rosewood-sgThe Seagull Maritime SWS Rosewood is the choice guitar if you want the most wide EW response, in other words, more bass response than the other models.  
 
This is one of the very best values in getting a solid Rosewood body guitar (sides and back) among any acoustic guitar on the market made by various brands.
 
This model is the only model in this series with a slimmer nut width at 1.72" for a more traditional feel, and easier playability.  The rest are at 1.8" at the nut for a little wider feel at the top near the head stock.
 
Rosewood is my personal favorite because of how it is more responsive than Mahogany and other tonewoods in the bass region of the EQ, making it usually sound the most lively, loud, full and responsive of all tonewoods when it comes to the back and sides.
 
So essentially, whereas all the other Seagull Maritime SWS have mahogany for back and sides, the Seagull Maritime SWS Rosewood model uses East Indian Rosewood for the back and sides of the body, allowing the guitar body to resonate more in the bass frequencies.
 
For about $820, this is one of the best sounding guitars under $1000 because of the Solid Rosewood and the superior craftsmanship of Seagull Guitar makers.
 
If I were to purchase this model, I would opt to have a blender preamp such as the Godin Q2, although it only comes standard in the Artist Series by Seagull.  There are other great blender pickups on the market that can be installed after-market as well, but that is not the purpose of this review.  
 
Without a pickup, this is still a phenomenal value for just above $800.
 
A few owners of this guitar said:
 
seagull-maritime-sws-rosewood-5-star -It's gorgeous and sounds amazing. - R. Rodriguez
 
seagull-maritime-sws-rosewood-5-star -The SWS series can easily compete with instruments priced much higher. - P.W.
 
seagull-maritime-sws-rosewood-5-star -Other guitars I've seen of this quality would be at least double the price. - Jeff N.
 
 
 
 
seagull-maritime-sws-folk-hgThe Seagull Maritime SWS Folk HG is similar in size to the Martin 000 series that you see Eric Clapton play in unplugged type venues. 
 
This guitar is far more mid-range in tone and will not project on the lower end of the EQ like a Dreadnought body size, so this is excellent for a finger-style guitar player who really wants the tone to stand out in the mid-range for a great acoustic sound.

The body is a folk size, so it is a bit smaller than a Dread and will feel lighter and smaller to the person who is used to playing a standard Dreadnought.
 
So this guitar is excellent for someone who must have a SWS guitar from Seagull but favors finger-style playing, blues playing, or it can also be great for someone who is a bit smaller in personal stature and frame.
 
The Maritime SWS Folk HG features all of the same great features of the rest of the Solid Wood Series, but just has the thinner body one would expect of a folk size guitar.  It does feature the High Gloss custom polished finish so the strings actually sound crisp, distinct and never muffled.
 
So if you are looking for that classic acoustic blues sound, and cannot afford to shell out $1500 or more for a Martin, this is an awesome folk guitar for just about $849.
 
If you find it online for less, it is going to be a used one.  These retail brand new for right at $849.
 
What some other owners have said:
seagull-maritime-sws-rosewood-5-star-I am very pleased with this guitar. It sounds great. - DV.
 
seagull-maritime-sws-rosewood-5-star -Stunning balance of tone and volume across the strings. . .I am used to paying 4x this price for a good guitar. Now I don't have too. Lovely! - Jeffrey
 
seagull-maritime-sws-rosewood-5-star -Nice solid guitar for the $. - Jim C.
 
You can read more about what others have said here and for the best price online, you can find it new for about $849 here.
 
 
seagull-maritime-sws-mini-jumbo-hgThe Seagull Maritime SWS Mini Jumbo HG is an excellent guitar for someone who wants a Seagull Solid Wood Series Guitar with great response in a wider range of frequencies, including a bit more bass and mid distinction than the other models.  
 
It has a slightly thinner body style, and the slimmer waist, coupled by the large lower bout allows this mini jumbo to have a distinct projection in the lower range, without compromising the mid-range sound.
 
This is also great for a finger-style guitar, as well as a rhythm player because of this distinct projection coming from this body style.
 
As with most mini-jumbo or jumbo designs, because of the tighter / smaller waist in the guitar shape, you end up with almost 2 distinct zones on the top with a nice separation between the mid range area and the bass range area.  Imagine 2 drum heads of different sizes giving two different pitches because of the size of the drum head.  
 
Although there are not 2 completely separate tops to this guitar, essentially, you get a more distinct bass sound from a mini jumbo because of the exaggerated lower bout width and the narrow waist making almost 2 distinct vibrating regions on the top.
 
The Seagull Maritime SWS Mini Jumbo HG is also a bit easier to hold than the Dreadnought sizes, and larger than the folk, but having a slightly thinner depth from top to back.
 
If you want something larger than a folk size guitar, and want more bass response with a little bit different look and feel from a standard Dreadnought, the Maritime SWS Mini Jumbo might be for you.
 
Here's what some other owners have said about this quality, solid wood guitar:
 
seagull-maritime-sws-mini-jumbo-hg5-stars- I am very pleased with the sound of this guitar and think I got my money's worth.  N.S.
 
seagull-maritime-sws-mini-jumbo-hg 4- stars- I shopped guitars in the $1000 - $1600 price range for months, and the SWS mini-jumbo is better than most. - Chas
 
seagull-maritime-sws-mini-jumbo-hg5- stars - Mine has been trouble-free. I've had it for about two years, and I play it almost every day. - John
 
 
If you do not want the acoustic electric version, but only want the pure acoustic version, you can find the Maritime SWS Mini Jumbo here for about $699.
 
I really hope you enjoyed reading this complete review on the Seagull Maritime Solid Wood Series, and please share it on other guitar forums, Facebook or other social media of your choice by using the share buttons on this page. 
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